Horticulture Programs

The MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture team provides Michigan residents with researched-based information to properly manage their home environment (lawns, gardens, landscapes and ornamentals). The Leelanau County MSU Extension office assists county residents with utilizing Extension resources to better diagnose plant diseases, insect & weed identification, fertilizer recommendations, pest problems, landscape questions, seeding & lawn maintenance, and more! Read on to find out about all of the resources available.

Pollinator Citizen Science Project

You can learn about pollinators and help researchers learn more about them by participating in this citizen science project. To participate, all you have to do is count pollinators for 3 minutes at one of the flower planters that is located on E Front St. between Park and Union in downtown Traverse City. Each planter has a sign in it with a QR code. Scan the QR code with your phone for instructions on how to participate. You can also watch these two short videos to learn more about the project and to learn how to identify some of the pollinators you'll see on the flowers. 

Simple Vegetable Garden Plans

These plans can be used by both beginners and experienced gardeners. The plants suggested have been specially selected to not only feed your family, but also can be donated to food pantries to fill the need for “staples” - fresh vegetables most likely to be used and that can store better if they are not used right away. 

Short Helpful Vegetable Gardening Videos: Gardening for Beginners (MSU Mediaspace)


Toll-free Lawn & Garden Hotline (888-MSUE4MI)

Contact MSU Extension's state-wide hotline for any of your gardening-related question by dialing 1-888-678-3464 (1-888-MSUE-4MI).

Take a Soil Sample and Have the Results Interpreted

The first step to growing and maintaining a healthy lawn and garden is getting to know your soil! Soil Test Kit Mailers are available at the MSU Extension office (after the Executive Order expires on May 15th) and cost $25 (this includes shipping).   Or you can purchase a soil test online to be shipped to your home at shop.msu.edu.  (Click on "MSU Extension Bookstore", and type Soil Test in the search bar.)   Each kit contains instructions on how to gather samples. You will receive a 6-character code via email to be able to interpret your soil test results (msusoiltest.com) and find specific recommendations based off the crops types of your interest.

"Gardening in Michigan" website

This website (migarden.msu.edu) is full of resources to get you growing this season. Topics covered include Vegetables, Fruit, Flowers, Trees/Shrubs, Lawns/Grass, Soil, Water, Plant Problems and Preservation.

Smart Gardening Initiative

Become a Smart Gardener by creating Smart Soils, Smart Plants, and Smart Lawns. Stop by our office for hard copies of twenty different tip sheets to help you save time and money while protecting the environment this season.

Local Diagnostics Clinic

Drop samples off at the Leelanau County MSU Extension office during office hours. (or use the Lawn and Garden Q&A above in the meantime.)  Samples will be taken for evaluation by our Consumer Hort Program Instructor or Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.

Become a MSU Extension certified Master Gardener

Help people and communities grow! Lend a hand to the MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture team's effort to get the word out about research-based, environmentally sound gardening practices. Interested individuals get the chance to take a focus, 13-week training course and engage in a community-outreach, horticulture-related volunteer project. To find out about the next local training class see our Leelanau County Master Gardener page or visit the state-wide Master Gardener Program website for more information.